What do games have in common with movies, TV shows, books, plays, and other forms of media? Even though we get previews for most of them, which aim to help us form a general opinion, we still have no way or knowing whether the final product will be good or not. Sometimes it’s easy, though. You can tell just from a teaser trailer when the game, for example, is going to be pretty bad. In other unfortunate instances, a trailer makes the game look so good that it’d be a shocker if it turned out anything but good. The most unfortunate combination, however, is when previews and marketing make a game look good, hyping its release, only for it to end up being completely disappointing. This is the case of these 5 Extremely Hyped Games That Disappointed.
1. Destiny (2014)
Brought to us by Bungie, the studio behind the insanely famous Halo franchise, Destiny sounded like a highly promising product. It was going to be an exclusively online first-person shooter, mixed with RPG elements. There is no wonder that enough copies were sold in retail on its launch day to make it the highest grossing franchise debut of all time. This is because it had the back-up of an excellent marketing campaign.
All the media exposure and building up made people curious, and out of excitement, they purchased the game. It truly wasn’t a bad game, as exemplified by the awards it won, but it was purely… average. I doubt anyone will be talking about Destiny as a cult classic in years to come.
2. Watch Dogs (2014)
Every game that would be released following the launch of the revolutionary PS4 console received a lot of attention. Infamous: Second Son and Watch Dogs were some of the first games that players were able to test the new engine on. While the former massively delivered, not a lot could be said about Watch Dogs. The premise seemed pretty fun, with interesting hacking features, revolutionary graphics, and all the other tweaks of the latest PlayStation.
In reality, though, the game was considered mediocre at best, receiving mixed reviews. There was no problem with the graphics, sure, but not even that could make up for how generically linear and boring the storyline was. Aiden, the protagonist, lacked any personality traits that could have made him even a minimally interesting character. Maybe next time they should hire Troy Baker since he did a pretty great job with Infamous: Second Son’s Delsin Rowe.
3. Sims 4 (2014)
2014 was the year of many big game releases, so it seems. Unfortunately, many of them flopped. The Sims series is undoubtedly one of the biggest names associated with EA (next to FIFA, let’s be honest) and PC gaming. Millions of people enjoy the thrills of transmuting themselves into a digital world, where people skip work because there is a plate blocking their front door. After the success of Sims 3, its successor seemed very promising, especially in terms of graphics and character creation engines.
Success seems to have eluded Sims 4 since it was considered to be fairly disappointing. EA made the questionable choice of removing some of the best features of the prequels, considerably downgrading the gameplay experience. And your first encounter with this is right in the sim creation menu, where you may notice that you’re no longer able to manually choose colors. The studio basically decided that their main focus would be the downloadable features menu. I mean, hey, a lot of things are missing, but you don’t have to worry; you can just download all of them yourself.
4. Dead Island (2011)
Everything about the Dead Island announcement trailer was perfect. It was beautifully directed, emotional, dynamic, and it seemed to be very straightforward with what the plot was going to be about. By making two parents and a little girl face off a zombie herd, Techland knew exactly how to hit a sensitive chord. With a trailer that amassed over 15 million YouTube views up to date, there’s no wonder that everyone was thrilling in excitement for the actual release.
Unfortunately, you guessed it, it didn’t live up to the expectations. The game was a basic recycle of every other game in the genre, where all players had to do was to run away from and avoid zombies. The fact that the graphics were pretty underwhelming, and there were many annoying bugs and glitches that made the cut didn’t help its case either. There was a good side to all of this, however. Techland seems to have learned from the mistakes of Dead Island since they followed up with the brilliant 2015 also-zombie-themed Dying Light.
5. Tony Hawk: Ride (2009)
Tony Hawk: Ride is a good example of a promise that couldn’t be kept. The game franchise is undoubtedly legendary, so much that I can’t exactly recall any other skateboarding game that had so much impact in this genre. When the newest 2009 installment was announced, everyone was incredibly excited. One of the biggest reasons was that the game was going to revolutionize the industry, by having the release come with a physical board. Players would be able to do actual skateboard tricks from the comfort of their living room, and all the movements would be transferred into the game.
To say this didn’t go as planned would be an understatement. The function was overall useless since there was an incredible delay between the player’s movements and the actual in-game action. Just think of how annoying delayed subtitles are. Great, now imagine that this is basically what happened with this feature. Needless to say, Tony Hawk: Ride didn’t exactly revolutionize the gaming industry with its little invention.
We’ll go easy on the games from this list. Most of them were the results of studios experimenting with new features. Even though the entries here flopped, they were eventually overshadowed by better releases, which proved that they were simple, human mistakes. What’s really fun to think about is if the studios were aware that their games were terrible, so they tried to cover them up with overhyping and great (but deceiving) trailers. Either way, this tactic didn’t land them spots in any prestigious halls of fame. They landed them spots among the 5 Extremely Hyped Games That Disappointed.